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White: UFC targeting Poirier vs. McGregor 3 for the summer, but not for lightweight title

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UFC 257: Poirier v McGregor Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It looks like Conor McGregor could get his wish to fight Dustin Poirier for a third time.

McGregor, who lost to Poirier via second-round TKO at UFC 257 last month (watch it HERE), has been lobbying for the two lightweights to lock horns one more time in a trilogy fight. Remember, McGregor and Poirier fought all the way back in 2014 at featherweight, which saw “Notorious” win via first-round TKO.

Luckily for McGregor, UFC president Dana White seems on board with the idea of a trilogy bout and is already looking to book the third fight for sometime this summer.

“Well, when you have two guys that are in their positions—Dustin is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, you got Conor who is ranked No. 6, and they want the trilogy, you got to go with the trilogy,” UFC President Dana White told ESPN’s Get Up on Friday. “We’re probably going to try to put that fight together this summer.”

McGregor, who made his return to 155 pounds last month after a two-year absence from the division, was hoping to defeat Poirier for a second time and either lock up his rematch with current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or book a showdown with Manny Pacquiao inside of the boxing ring. However, Poirier was able to attack McGregor’s lead leg early on in their rematch and eventually found the finish, spoiling any plans the Irishman may have had.

“If you look at Conor, if you look at the way he fought, the leg kicks that he was eating, the stance he was in, he was completely overlooking Dustin Poirier,” said White. “I’m not taking anything away from Poirier, but when you pull in on a super yacht [in Abu Dhabi] and you’re living the life that Conor lives, you need to be hungry and you need to take every guy serious. It doesn’t matter how you beat Dustin Poirier the first time, that’s not the same guy you are going to be facing and obviously Dustin Poirier is training like it’s the most important fight of his life.

“There were a lot of things lined up there for the upset. I guess the good part is the trilogy McGregor is hungrier that he’s ever been, he wants this fight back, he wants this fight badly so it will be a fun third fight.”

Unfortunately for McGregor, it doesn’t sound like White is open to the idea of having the trilogy bout be for the undisputed lightweight title. Khabib is essentially retired at this point, but White remains adamant that he can coax the Russian back for one more fight. Until the final meeting is had Nurmagomedov will remain the UFC’s lightweight champion. White is simply willing to let everyone else fight it out.

“When you have two guys – Dustin who’s the No. 1 guy in the world ,and a guy like Conor – and they both want it that badly, you do it,” White told ESPN in a separate interview. “These guys (at lightweight) are all going to fight it out and we will narrow it down to the two guys that will face off for the title.”

“I’m still going to meet with him [Khabib] here in Vegas,” continued White. “We’re supposed to go to dinner soon. First of all, the one thing that he says is he doesn’t want to stall and keep the title in limbo – which he’s not, anyway. All these guys need to fight. I saw some talk yesterday where everyone is like, ‘Dustin should be the champion.’ Well, Dustin just got smoked by Khabib. Conor got smoked by Khabib. Gaethje got smoked by Khabib. There’s no guy that you look at and go, ‘Oh, this guy.’ They’re going to have to fight it out.

“What’s fun for us, being the fans, if you look at the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, Dustin Poirier, all the way down to No. 7, Rafael dos Anjos, the fights that can be made to find out who becomes the next champion are unbelievable. So we’re in for some incredible fights to find out which two of these guys from 1 to 7 will square off to become the next world champion.”

For now, McGregor and Poirier will be left to schedule their trilogy bout and build on the 1.6 million PPV buys their rematch produced just last month. It’s easily the most sensical and lucrative fight for both men, but it won’t be for a UFC title (just yet).

What say you, Maniacs? Is Poirier vs. McGregor 3 the fight to make?

Let’s hear it!